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Public transport crisis will blow over next week: Kerala Minister

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 25, 2013 Published on January 25, 2013

The Union Petroleum Minister is said to be in touch with public sector oil marketing companies over pricing of diesel for State transport undertakings.

Crisis in the State transport undertaking will blow over by Wednesday, according to Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed.

The Minister said here that he has had talks in this connection with Union Petroleum Minister Veerappa Moily.

PRIVATE OUTLETS

The Union Minister is said to be in touch with public sector oil marketing companies over pricing of diesel for State transport undertakings.

Aryadan Mohammed has, however, ruled out the possibility of Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) buses sourcing cheaper fuel from private outlets.

The corporation had been bracketed with counterparts in other States as a ‘bulk consumer’ for which deregulated fuel rates would apply.

ASSISTANCE SOUGHT

This pushed the loss-making public transport utility into a crisis, forcing it to trim down operations/services. The State Government has been considering the request of a financial assistance of Rs 200 crore to tide over the crisis.

The Minister said he had met Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and exchanged views on the matter. It was agreed that the State Government wait out until Wednesday to hear from the Centre.

TAX WAIVER

Chandy and Mohammed are also reported to have discussed the option of waiver of 19.8 per cent sales tax on diesel. The State Government has opposed any move to hike bus fares since that would only benefit private bus operators who could go on to make a killing by reaping the advantage of not being a ‘bulk consumer.’

KSRTC had sought approval to cancel uneconomical services and prioritise them since at least 1,650 of them were loss-making.

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Published on January 25, 2013
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